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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Who's Who Wednesday! Author Josee Renard (giveaway)

Epically Romantic would like to welcome a wonderful author, Josee Renard. I first encountered Josee when I read her book What's New Pussycat.  I want to thank Josee for stopping by and doing my first ever author spotlight. Josee will also be giving away a her book  Treat Myself from her Part Time Lover series .  To be entered into the giveaway you must leave a comment on my blog, follow her blog as well as mine.  A person will be chosen at random. (Please make sure to comment, follow the blogs and leave your email where you can be contacted if you win the giveaway). 


Josee Renard writes women’s fiction, magic realism, paranormal and erotica. She writes short fiction, poetry and novels. Josée blames her good friend Anna Leigh Keaton for getting her into writing erotica – she loves Anna Leigh’s books and wanted to try one herself – now she can’t stop. She blames her mother and her two grandmothers for her reading and writing obsession – all of them were avid readers, and they passed the books and the obsession on to her. 


She also writes women’s fiction as Kate Austin. You can check out her alter ego at www.kateaustin.ca

Now on with the interview.

Ebony: How long does it take you to write a book?

Josee: Hmmm, this definitely depends on a whole bunch of things, including, I suspect, where the moons of Jupiter are in relation to the Ides of March. I'm only sort of kidding - a book takes as long as it takes and that seems to vary. If I have a deadline, I always meet it. But as I work best under pressure, and I know pretty much how long things take, I generally get it done at the very last minute. If I'm working a lot at the day job, it takes longer. If it's holiday season, it takes longer. But if it were an ideal world and my full-time job was writing, the first draft of a full-length novel would take me 6-8 weeks working Monday to Friday, 5 solid hours of writing a day. So it takes me 150-200 hours of writing time. Of course, that never happens so I would give myself three months.

E: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

J: Reading is at the very top of my list. I read between 350-400 books a year and reading is an addiction rather than a choice. If I don't read, my world falls apart. I also shop - a relatively minor addiction compared to reading. I love movies, especially on the big screen. I spend a lot of time with my women friends, they save my sanity at the most complicated of times. I walk on the beach as often as I can. I like to talk about books, hence my book club. I love going out to dinner or for a drink with my partner - both of us are social animals and we love the city, so we're out a lot. I'm also addicted to art galleries so I spend a lot of time hanging out looking at art.

E: How many books have you written? What is your favorite?

J: I wrote and published dozens (maybe hundreds) of short stories before I started writing novels, then I wrote three novels before I wrote one I thought I could sell - those three novels have been consigned to oblivion. Since I sold my first novel, I've written 9 novels (8 of which have sold), probably 7 or 8 novellas (all of which are sold), and about 20 short stories (all of which are sold).

Right now, my favorite book is one that I haven't written yet, but is stuck in my head and because of the way my brain works, I can't talk about it. But my favorite book that I've published? I sort of waffle between Awakening and The Gossip Queens. Right now? The Gossip Queens. I love the women in that book, I love the way the three stories connect, and I think it's got one of the greatest and most interesting heroes in it.

E: If you were to do your career as an author again, what would you do differently, and why?

J: I'm not sure I'd do anything differently. I know I made mistakes - some of them at the time seemed pretty serious - but those mistakes brought me here. And I really like where I am right now. I think if I did make a mistake it was in not listening to my agent about a couple of things - it's taken me almost two years to get back to where I was when I stopped listening. I did, however, grovel appropriately when I realized she'd been right all along :)

E: What do you think makes a good story?

J: I'm all about character rather than plot, so if I love (or hate) the characters, I'm in love with the book. But I also like gorgeous, lush writing, which doesn't always go with great characters, so I'll often be committed to a book just because I fall in love with the writing.

But a good story? Good plots - and I'm an avid reader of romantic suspense so I know whereof I speak - keep me turning the page, but I'd give it up if I didn't want to know what happened to the characters, if I didn't feel as if they were part of my life as well as the life of the book.

E: What was one of the most surprising things learned in creating your books?

J: I'm always surprised about what happens to characters in my books and even more surprised to find, when I go back to revise, that I'd set up the surprises without even knowing it.

E: What does your family think of your writing?

J: They're all avid readers, so they love the fact that they have a writer in the family. Since I started writing erotica, they don't always read everything I write, but they buy it. They give away my bookmarks like crazy and everytime I meet one of their friends, they already know all about me. It's great.

E: What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?

J: Oooh, this one is easy. I would write labels for OPI nail polish. I love their names and I always pick my polish because of them. Right now I'm wearing Shootout at the OK Coral. In the winter I go between An Affair in Red Square and I'm Really Not a Waitress. Others I love: Kiss on the Chic, Color to Diner For, Houston We Have a Purple.

E: Favorite dessert?

J: Creme caramel (NOT creme brulee), hands down.

E: Favorite way to relax?

J: Re-reading one of my favorite books for the 10th or 20th time. I know the ending so I can just enjoy the ride.

E: What TV shows do you watch?

J: I'm passionate about Glee, love the characters and the music. I watch Criminal Minds because I like the characters and I'm delighted that JJ is back. My partner loves Hawaii 5-0 and I can't complain about the scenery, so I watch that. Those are the only consistent things I watch. Oh, yeah, and soccer (English Premier League, World Cup, Champions League). Love it.



E: Tell us about your newest release.  
Blurb:  

Mercy’s feeling blue because her business—and occasional sex—partner Jules is walking around looking like a cat who just stole a pint of cream. But she’s not a woman to wait for something to happen, she’s going to make it happen.
When she finds a post on Part Time Lovers from two men who want, finally, to show their love for each other and need a woman to facilitate their night, she’s in. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s going to learn a whole new side of herself. She going to learn that she loves watching.


J: Just call me Dickens. I'm in the middle - both publishing wise and writing wise - of a 10-part serial that's being released from Cobblestone Press between now and the beginning of December. Ten linked stories called Part Time Lovers, about a website called just that, and each story is also titled after a Stevie Wonder song. PTL isn't a relationship website, it's about finding the right person for right now. Jules and Mercy, friends since grade school, own and run the website and so you get to follow their stories all the way through, but each story takes us through people who have met through the website. I've loved writing it, and you can check out my blog to find excerpts of the upcoming stories, as well as a little bit about the settings - all of them in Vancouver.

E: What can readers expect from you in the near future?

J: The next 8 stories from Part Time Lovers and I'm part of an e-anthology - which you'll be able to download from my website in October - with a group of paranormal writers. It's called Erotic Nights and the stories are all paranormal and all very very hot. Don't forget to check it out.

E: Where can we find your books?

J:

www.cobblestone-press.com
http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/a58829/Josee-Renard
http://www.amazon.com/Kate-Austin/e/B001H6S3NC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1314316529&sr=8-1

Once again thank you so much Josee for telling us about you and your writing. I myself look forward to reading more of your work.








5 comments:

RhiArlene84 said...

Love this entry - really enjoyed learning more about Ms. Renard. Can't wait to read some of her books! (A free one wouldn't hurt, LOL - disillusioned714@yahoo.com - just in case I'm the lucky one!)

lalibrarybug said...

I loved the interview and the way her family supports her even though they don't read everything she writes!!! ♥♥♥ You've got to love that!!!

Congrats on your success!

Ebony Dreams said...

Thanks for the comment!

Sandra Cox said...

Great interview.
Creating names for nail polish...love it!

Ebony Dreams said...

Thanks so much Lalibrarybug and Sandra Cox for your comments as well.